Alexander Tallén is this year’s Young Art Craftsman

By on September 26, 2019

The 2019 Young Craftsman is the ceramicist Alexander Tallén from Stockholm. Fascinated by the small format, he presents our contemporaries in the form of figurines inspired by the 18th century mold world. The scholarship is in the amount of SEK 100,000 and is awarded by the Bengt Julins Fond, which is part of the National Museum of Friends at a ceremony on November 21.

With a clear connection to the fashion phenomenon of the 18th century, Alexander Tallén creates unique works with messages from our own time. Both the production process and the embodied expression mean that the distinction between arts and crafts does not feel relevant.

Alexander Tallén uses himself as a motif, which makes the figurines a multifaceted visual and mental self-portrait. With his black beard and his elegantly patterned clothes, he personifies a lively man’s image, urban and contemporary. The characters are dreamy and fairytale.

His artistry consists of a personal gallery with both men and women, each of whom has his own character with clothes in different colors and designs. The artistic expression with its small format is complex and original. At the same time, there is the warmth of the wonderful rococo-like.

Alexander Tallén, Together at last, 2016, Photo: Linn Ahlgren/Nationalmuseum.

The ceramicist Alexander Tallén was born in 1988 in Stockholm and educated at Nyckelviksskolan, Leksand Folkhögskola and Konstfack in Stockholm. He graduated with a Master’s degree at the Art Fair in 2015. Alexander Tallén is represented at the National Museum since 2016, the Röhsska Museum, the Gothenburg Art Museum and the Malmö Art Museum. Since 2013 he has exhibited his works in both group and solo exhibitions. Most recently he participated in the exhibitions Six Centuries of Contemporary at the National Museum Jamtli in Östersund 2018 and Figures and figurines at the Rian Design Museum in Falkenberg in the summer of 2019.

– I am delighted to let old traditions collide with new styles. With porcelain figurines in shimmering colors, I want to draw attention to questions from our own time, says artist Alexander Tallén.

Motivation of the jury
“With the modern man’s ambition and vanity as his main motive, Alexander Tallén has renewed figurative art and given it a new audience. He cleverly links motifs and details from the classic porcelain figurines of the 18th century with references to our own contemporary social patterns. As a depiction of morals, as conversation pieces and as double-bottomed ceramic designs, his work has mutated into an entirely own area of ​​Swedish art.”

This year’s jury

  • Elsebeth Welander-Berggren (Chairman)
  • Rolf Julin (Bengt Julin’s Fund)
  • Micael Ernstell (National Museum)
  • Love Jönsson (Rian design museum)
  • Kerstin Wickman (design historian and writer)

The scholarship Young craftsmen has been awarded since 2001 on the initiative of Bengt Julin. It aims to award promising practitioners who have not reached the age of 35 and who have their main business in Sweden. The scholarship is SEK 100,000 and is awarded every two years. Scholarship is appointed by the Board of Directors of the Bengt Julins Fund, which has assisted a jury. Past scholars include Märta Mattsson 2016, Ida-Lovisa Rudolfsson 2014, Simon Klenell 2012, Karl Magnus Nilsson 2010, Helena Hörstedt 2008 and Christian-Pontus Andersson 2006.

The scholarship is awarded at a ceremony on November 21 at the National Museum.

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